• DA likely to win 26% of vote, EFF 8%, Ipsos poll shows
  • Poll shows no party winning Pretoria, Johannesburg Outright

Support for South Africa’s ruling African National Congress is set to fall to a record low, a new opinion poll released just hours before the country’s local government elections get under way shows.

The ANC is set to win 54 percent of the vote nationally, down from 62 percent in national elections two years go, while support for the main opposition Democratic Alliance is likely to grow to 26 percent from 22 percent, the poll released by research company Ipsos found. It expects the Economic Freedom Fighters to garner 8 percent support, up from 6.4 percent, and that no other party will secure more than 2 percent of the vote.

The survey is the latest to indicate that support for the ANC, which led the fight against white minority rule and has held power since the first multiracial elections in 1994, is waning as anger mounts over a 27 percent unemployment rate, a stagnating economy and a series of scandals embroiling President Jacob Zuma. 

Ipsos, which interviewed 3,142 eligible voters from June 17 to July 18 found no party was on track to win an outright majority in the key battleground cities of Johannesburg, Pretoria and Port Elizabeth, indicating that they will be run by coalitions after the vote.

The ANC led in Johannesburg, the economic hub, by 46 percent to the DA’s 41 percent and the EFF’s 8 percent. In the capital Pretoria, the ANC polled 47 percent support, the DA 43 percent and the EFF 9 percent, while in the southern port city of Port Elizabeth, the DA had 44 percent backing, the ANC 37 percent and the EFF 6 percent.

The poll had a margin of error of 0.8 percent to 1.7 percent.

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